Alumni and students of the nearly 90-year-old school tried to save it, but it's now official: St. Mary of the Assumption High School in Elizabeth is closing its doors for good.
In June, the Archdiocese of Newark announced that the school was facing a shortfall of $2 million and would be forced to shut down . Other Catholic schools in recent years have also faced closure but managed to keep their doors open thanks to vigorous fundraising efforts.
St. Mary alumni, students and friends of the school tried that approach, launching a GoFundMe campaign for the school, whose small student body was largely drawn from Elizabeth and other urban areas. In addition to its 100 percent college acceptance rate, St. Mary was noted for its athletics, especially basketball. Elizabeth Mayor Christian Bollwage graduated from the school.
Friends and alumni also held a special event at the school in late July featuring musical performances and a charity basketball game between members of Elizabeth's police and fire departments. But the effort fell short.
Friends and alumni, however, say they will always have fond memories of the small but vibrant institution.
"It is a sad day for the St. Mary's family. The doors may be closed after 89 years but the spirit of St. Mary's will live on forever! We thank our families, teachers, staff, board members, coaches, alumni, and students for making St. Mary's a special place. The memories we made will be cherished forever!" , the school said in a Facebook post this week.
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